Cancer nurse's 13 races in 13 months

April 29 2019

A DEDICATED nurse from Downend is set to finish a challenge of running 13 races in 13 months when she takes part in the London Marathon.

Victoria Cassels

Victoria Cassels


Victoria Cassels, 30, works as a senior staff nurse on the oncology ward at Bristol Children’s Hospital.
But as if running around the ward wasn’t enough, Victoria – known as Vee – signed up for a mammoth challenge of running 13 races to raise funds for CLIC Sargent, after seeing first-hand the support the charity gives to families she cares for in hospital.
The final race of her challenge is the Virgin Money London Marathon, which was taking place on April 28.
Victoria said: “Having a child diagnosed with cancer can be devastating for families and completely overwhelming. Lives are turned upside down and put on hold. Many parents have to give up work to become full time carers to their child, and the CLIC Sargent social workers help support families.
“CLIC Sargent community nurses are able to go and support families and children in their own home, reducing the amount of times they have to come to hospital.”
Victoria cares for children up to the age of 12 and says each and every child is different, which is what makes her job so fulfilling.
She said: “No day is ever that same in my role – it can be a busy day involving administering chemotherapy as part of a child’s treatment, giving antibiotics as a result of an infection and providing transfusions to help a child recover from their chemotherapy.
“But it could also be a day involving a dance-off with a child whose siblings can’t visit because they’re in isolation or having a ‘lunch date’ with a child who refuses to eat because chemotherapy has destroyed their taste buds.
“I wouldn’t change my job for the world. I love building relationships with the families and children I care for, and if I can make just a small positive difference in their lives then I’m happy.”
As part of her training for the London Marathon, Victoria has been scheduling runs around her shifts.
In preparation for the marathon she has run a series of 10k and half-marathon races – including the Bristol 10k and half-marathon last year and the Bath half-marathon this year.
To sponsor Victoria, visit bit.ly/2Pkzb95 online.